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The Gippsland Power has run away with a lucky win over the Western Jets after inaccurate kicking caused some headaches throughout the game.
The game kicked off in some of Melbourne’s most notorious weather conditions. However, the Western Jets came out firing, kicking two goals within the first two minutes due to great centre clearances. Gippsland responded at the 8 minute mark but the first quarter was flowing in the Jets direction, but Western showed no sign of the distance between the two teams on the TAC Cup ladder.
Gippsland Power’s Head Coach, Nick Stevens was not surprised by the intensity of his opposition.
“We knew as a side the Jets would come out hard, they are a lot better side than there win loss ratio suggests.
As though the heavens had been told, the second term began and as did a deluge of rain. Both teams struggled in cold and slippery conditions and could not convert in front of goal, with Gippsland kicking 7 behinds to Western’s 1 point.
Although kicking poorly, the Power took control of the second term and started directing the play on their terms.
“We had 30 scoring shots and didn't take our chances, but it was very tough conditions, so it is not something we will worry about too much, as it was a great effort to go inside 50, 57 times in those conditions.
The second half saw Gippsland’s Captain, Tim Membrey lead by example and slot through a few crucial goals for the Power.
The Western Jets maintained their intensity, responding to Gippsland’s intensity at various times throughout the quarter. The Jets were able to finish the term with the final goal which in hindsight then set up their run following the break.
The final term opened in a similar fashion to the first, with the Jets full of enthusiasm. Within 5 minutes of the bounce, the Western Jets had decreased Gippsland’s lead to 5 points. However, yet again Tim Membrey stepped up for the Power and kicked 3 of his game high 6 goals in the last quarter.
Gippsland Power wasted several opportunities to strengthen their lead towards the end of the game, but were able to pull away with a 24 point win.
Charlie Nastasi received best on ground honours for the Western Jets, leading his side in intensity and determination with 16 disposals, 10 tackles, and 5 clearances.
The Jets relied heavily on Joshua Bench in their forward line, who delivered by kicking 3 goals straight.
Gippsland Coach, Nick Stevens has been able to take confidence from what was quite a unique contest.
“I thought Tim Membrey was outstanding up forward, Will Hams & Ben Kearns were great through the middle and Hall, Cashman, Hutts were very good in defence.
“We are very happy to have won such a close game, and our boys showed great maturity, with a side that kept coming at us,” Nick Stevens said.
This win maintains Gippsland’s unbeaten Season, recording their 5th victory in a row. The Power sits second on the ladder under Sandringham who conquer them only in percentage. If Gippsland can improve their accuracy in front of goal, percentage and thus ladder leadership is theirs.